A few years ago, I was walking around the bookstore and was interested in buying a new cookbook (I'm a sucker for recipes). My eyes started to glaze over after the fifth or so bookshelf filled with boring white cookbooks who claim to have the simplest healthiest recipes when a cookbook caught my eye. The cover had bright colors, the food looked interesting, and the name got my attention. I reached out, grabbed the book, and fell in love right there with the Hungry Girl brand. Hungry Girl, Lisa Lillian is a women who is not a trained chef or nutritionist but was fed up with what she saw in the market and decided to tackle some of her craving foods and make figure friendly modifications. The Hungry Girl brand has awesome swaps for not-so-good-for-you-foods and unique but super easy ways to transform food you want to eat but not pay the price for later. Plus the name is pretty awesome.
I didn't buy the book that night, but I did go home and google hungry girl because I was interested. I came across the website and signed up for the daily recipe and tip emails. It took about two weeks and I eventually I was so excited to check my email every morning and see what new recipe awaited me that I bought the cookbook. For weeks, I made new recipes. I loved some, I tweeked others, and I raved about Hungry Girl to all of my friends. I have since gone on to buy every cookbook that she has made, I still receive my daily recipe and tip emails, I follow her on FB and she just launched a show on Food Network that I would watch if I had cable but instead I just get the recipes from the website. Needless to say, when I found out that Lisa Lillian would be doing a book signing in Manhattan for the release of her new Supermarket Survival Guide...I knew I would be there.
So this past Wednesday, I made my way to a Barnes & Noble on the Upper East Side. I waited in line, where I met new friends, and then they let us inside. When we got inside they were a ton of goodies for us! For real, it was super exciting to see of the items that Lisa talks about in her books and on FB, and we got so many samples. Here is my loot:
Now that I gloated about my free stuff...which was a highlight, but not the best part of the evening, let's get to the actual event. Lisa came out to the stage, talked about the new book, shared some funny stories, and took a bunch of questions and answers. She was funny, personable, and exactly how I expected her to be. She told us how she started Hungry Girl, some plans for the future, and shared that her favorite recipe is the Lord of the Onion Rings.
I would have been excited if the event ended there, but it didn't. She had a raffle where she gave away some t-shirts, a few amazing charm bracelets (I really wanted one of those), and a bedazzled speaker for an Ipod. I didn't win anything but it was fun to watch. After the discussion and raffle it was time to get your stuff signed. In the past, I have experienced authors who refuse to take pictures, only sign one thing, and are generally not excited to meet the fans that made them who they are; this was not Lisa. She was very generous with her time and spoke to each and every person who came to the event. She signed old books, took pictures, and asked questions. I was really shocked how fast the line seemed to moved even with all of these perks. When it was my turn, she signed my book and I asked her if I could take a picture with her, but also one of her alone for my blog. She obliged and then asked me about my blog and told me to send her the link. She was adorable and friendly.
If you are a fan, or maybe just looking for something to do on a random night that she is in your city, I highly recommend going to her book signing. If for nothing else think about the free stuff.